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Liberal Arts

Combine a breadth of knowledge with a depth of understanding

Focused yet flexible, Bachelor of Liberal Arts programs at UAS provides academic depth to a general course of liberal arts study. Humanities, communications, literature, writing, philosophy, and languages can be combined with social sciences fields such as anthropology, economics, history, political science, psychology, and sociology. With the guidance of a faculty advisor, students choose which liberal arts and social sciences disciplines they wish to combine to match their own career and academic goals.

Liberal Arts Degrees

 
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Student Experience

Marie and X'unei: A Conversation on Language

A conversation between Elder Marie Olson and Lance X̱’unei Twitchell, Assistant Professor of Alaska Native Languages. Recorded in September 2017.

Outdoor Studies Students in Japan

Come along with the Outdoor Studies Capstone class while they explore backcountry skiing in Japan's Hakuba region.

Learning Environments

Interdisciplinary Studies

B.L.A. Emphasis

Students have an opportunity to design an Interdisciplinary Bachelor of Liberal Arts (B.L.A.) degree with the guidance of a faculty advisor. Students choose which disciplines to combine. This program provides a focused, yet flexible course of study in the humanities with additional study options in languages, mathematics, natural sciences, and social sciences.

Alaska Native Languages and Studies

B.L.A. Emphasis

The Alaska Native Languages and Studies program focuses on three primary components of modern and historical Alaska Native life: Language, Art, and Society. Students learn and document the languages of Southeast Alaska, including Tlingit, Haida, and Tsimshian, with the goal to keep them alive for generations. The focus in art includes Northwest Coast formline design, carving, weaving, and textiles. Society looks at what makes up Alaska Native cultures and organizations — from historical migration patterns and contact with other cultures to modern day tribes, ANCSA corporations, consortia, and civil rights organizations.

Outdoor and Adventure Studies

B.L.A. Emphasis

Students learn and practice the foundational skills of rock and ice climbing, hiking, camping, kayaking, backcountry skiing and snowboarding, and mountaineering, as well swift-water rescue and wilderness medicine — courses that provide skills needed to act responsibly in the backcountry. These classes often require full-day and multi-day outings. Students must be in good physical condition and be prepared to spend many weekends in the field.

Students have the opportunity to reflect on our interaction with nature and each other with academic courses such as perspectives on wilderness, and small group communication and team building.

Tidal Echoes Literary and Arts Journal

UAS students, mentored by a professor, edit and produce Tidal Echoes, a literary journal showcasing the art and writing of Southeast Alaskans. The journal fills a unique literary niche — a forum for an eclectic blend of readers and artists to meet and engage.

Tidal Echoes aims to bring together the voices and visions of Southeast Alaska. Each year, students have the opportunity to intern with the journal, gaining skills in design, editing, project management, networking, communication, and broadcasting.

The Flying University

The Flying University is a collaboration between UAS and the Lemon Creek Correctional Center, an education project with incarcerated students. Inspired by the underground philosophy taught behind the Iron Curtain during the Cold War, students and inmates collaborate to create poetry, short stories, drawings, and photography while studying literature, philosophy, and theater.

“Intellectual debate is encouraged; struggling with problems presented in the courses made me academically stronger.”

Program Faculty

Kevin Maier, Ph.D.

Kevin Maier, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of English

While my training is in 19th and 20th century American literature, my interests have always been in the cultural components of environmental concerns, often seen from the angle of sport hunting and fishing. Which is to say: I like to mix my outdoor recreation with hard questions about climate change, equity, and environmental justice.

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Andrea L. Dewees

Andrea L. Dewees

Associate Professor of Spanish, Humanities Department Chair

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Jeremy Kane, M.F.A.

Jeremy Kane, M.F.A.

Associate Professor of Art

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Kevin Krein, Ph.D.

Kevin Krein, Ph.D.

Professor of Philosophy

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Sol Neely

Sol Neely

Associate Professor of English

Most of my research and teaching takes shape as a response to historical violence, transgenerational trauma, and memory. As a citizen of the Cherokee Nation living in the Raven bioregion, I am especially interested in staging dialogue between descendants of victims and perpetrators of colonial violence. In 2012, I started the Flying University—a prison education program that brings university students inside the prison for mutual and collaborative study.

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Lance (X̱’unei) A. Twitchell, M.F.A., Ph.D.

Lance (X̱’unei) A. Twitchell, M.F.A., Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Alaska Native Languages

All systems and spaces have space for Indigenous languages, knowledges, arts, and peoples. You can study with us and stand up for Indigenous languages, ways of knowing, and decolonization in revolutionary self-love. Kakḵwa.áaḵw aag̱áa yakḵwadláaḵ: I will try, and I will succeed!

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Emily Wall, B.A., M.F.A.

Emily Wall, B.A., M.F.A.

Professor of English

My passion is for poetry. I’ve been studying, writing, and publishing poetry for 20 years. I’ve been lucky enough to be part of a connected and supportive writing community throughout Alaska.

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Richard F. Simpson, Ph.D.

Richard F. Simpson, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Humanities, Geography and Environmental Studies BA Coordinator

Literary Theory; Literary Urban Studies; Material Cultures of Education; Nineteenth-Century Labor and Economic Theory; Allegory and the Essay; Cultures of Finance Capital

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Rosemarie J. Alexander-Isett, Ph.D.

Rosemarie J. Alexander-Isett, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of Communication

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William Elliott, Ph.D.

William Elliott, Ph.D.

Assistant Professor of English

Growing up in rural Alaska, we were always reading, especially the snow. Today I am still reading, nose in a book, nose to the air. As a teacher, and scholar of literature and environment, my work attends to the ways that our experiences are both socially constructed and materially grounded, shaped by stories and signs that are often curved along the contours of a more-than-human world.

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Forest J. Wagner, M.A.

Forest J. Wagner, M.A.

Assistant Professor of Outdoor Studies

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Rod Landis, M.Litt.

Rod Landis, M.Litt.

Professor of English

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Math Trafton, B.A., B.S., M.A., Ph.D.

Math Trafton, B.A., B.S., M.A., Ph.D.

Associate Professor of English

In the classroom, Dr. Trafton is committed to empowering students through rigorous interdisciplinary exercises that challenge students according to their interests and their abilities.  He strives to support students in developing the experience, confidence, and skills to discover their voice and to use it effectively.

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Teague Whalen, B.A., M.F.A.

Teague Whalen, B.A., M.F.A.

Associate Professor of English & Communication

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Liz Zacher, M.F.A.

Liz Zacher, M.F.A.

Assistant Professor of Art

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William Urquhart, Ph.D.

William Urquhart, Ph.D.

Associate Professor of Sociology

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